Each week a nutritionist from the
Organic, free-range, grass-fed — you need a dictionary just to get around the grocery store aisles these days. Products are being designed to better fit into our expanding society — items that grow faster, last longer on the shelf or are more productive. Some of these can occur naturally by cross-breeding similar species, but more commonly this happens inside the lab with scientists rearranging the
Genetically modified foods have been enhanced so that they are more tolerant to weather changes, more resistant to pests and fortified with nutrients not naturally found in the organisms. The two most common traits incorporated into plants are a tolerance for herbicides and an insecticide that is now inside the plant, rather than being sprayed on it. The seeds are then marketed and sold with the expectation that they are going to produce better, stronger, more nutritious food, without the need to spray as many chemicals on the crop. Per the
These designer foods are regulated by three government agencies: the USDA, the
The USDA regulates the field-testing of the seeds and their possible environmental impact. The EPA works with the genetically modified organisms that incorporate insecticides, fungicides and pesticides to try to ensure that there will be no environmental damage and that they are safe for human consumption. The FDA regulates genetically modified food and makes sure that they are safe to consume.
The most common concerns are